Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance
Millions of Americans are enrolled in the Medicare system. In order to be enrolled in the system, Americans must first meet basic requirements. For example, Americans need to have a qualifying disability or they need to be over the age of 65. After these basic requirements are met, participants must select the Medicare Supplement plan that is best for their needs and budgets from a wide variety of options.
Discovering which program is best suited for a participant’s unique needs can be a challenge, as there are various options associated with some plans, but not with others. Therefore, participants use the services of insurance advisor to help them navigate through the Medicare Supplement system and menu of choices. Getting the right information is critical to ensuring that participants are enrolled in a Medigap plan that will not only ensure they get the best healthcare coverage for their health profiles, but also for their financial situations.
Four Different Parts of Medicare
The Medicare system is first divided into four different parts. Each of these parts then has a host of options available within them. These first four parts are called Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Participants should select to participate in these parts based on their health profiles, in most cases. Here are the differences in these four parts:
Medicare Part A
Part A is also known as hospital insurance because its coverage is focused on reducing participant expenses for their hospital stays. Part A covers inpatient care requirements when a participant must visit the hospital or stay for a prolonged period of time. It also covers a portion of skilled nursing facility, hospice, and even home health care.
Part A may not provide coverage for unskilled care and participants will be required to pay for coinsurance, deductibles, and some uncovered expenses related to their stays (which are also known as gaps in coverage). These uncovered expenses may be covered by Medigap plans, which provide supplemental insurance for Medicare Part A participants.
Medicare Part B
Part B is also known as the Medical Insurance Medicare plan because it covers many outpatient services provided by a healthcare provider. Part B also provides coverage for some preventative services that help participants to stay healthy and decrease the progression of any illnesses. Part B is sometimes called the Supplementary Medicare Insurance plan because of the breadth of coverage it provides.
Part B is also very affordable; the annual deductible for Part B is only $135 for 2009, whereas the annual deductible for Part A is $1,068 for 2009. However, Part B may only pay 80 percent of fees for approved charges, requiring participants to pay for the rest of the fees.
Medicare Part C
Part C is known for providing Advantage Plans, such as PPO or HMO plans. Part C plans are implemented by private healthcare companies that are approved by Medicare. Participants receive their healthcare services directly from those private companies. Generally, Medicare Part C includes Part A and Part B coverage as well as a prescription drug coverage plan.
Medicare Part D
Part D is the program that helps to cover the cost of prescription drugs. This Part can be used in addition to other Medicare plans to lower the cost of prescription drugs while helping to protect prescription drug costs from rising in the future.
Many participants find it helpful to speak with experienced Medicare advisors for more information about their options, including information about Medigap or Medicare Supplemental plans that may help to provide additional coverage on top of their chosen plans. Speaking with an experienced advisor can help to ensure that participants get the best healthcare plans for their needs at prices that are right for their budgets.
About the Author: By Wiley Long – President, http://www.MedigapAdvisors.com – The nation’s leading independent agency specializing in Medigap coverage. Our professional medigap advisors will help you choose the best plan.